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Art & Inspiration Three on the tree

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56don, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. As long as we’re chatting about bolt action trannys- how do people use the linkage on a four speed? I heard you need a separate way to get reverse but otherwise curious. Thanks


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  2. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,452

    Muttley
    Member

    I owned an Econoline pickup for about three weeks about ten years ago. It took about five minutes for me to realize that I had zero interest in owning a three on tree then, now or anytime in the future. I'll stick with my four on the floor and Hurst Comp/Plus.
     

  3. Chicken!:)

    Ben
     
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  4. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,761

    rudestude
    Member

    What? Bolt action trannys ? Are you talking about 4spd linkages with reverse lockout?

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  5. Kind of funny when you think prior to about 1940 every car had a floor shift. Then some genius invented the column shift which was very modern and streamlined. Now we've come full circle.
     
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  6. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 749

    v8flat44

    The coolest car i ever drove was a 65 Pontiac Catalina, 389, 3 on the tree. That thing would FLY!
     
  7. That's how I work out if I will work on someone's car- if it was available new with a column shift, manual or auto, it's in my era.
     
  8. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,765

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Learned to drive a stick in 1966. Driver's Ed Rambler, 6 cylinder 3 on the tree. My new to me '54 Ranch Wagon has a 3 on the tree but I guess I'm getting old cause I'm planning on replacing the 239 Y block with a 302 and AOD.
     
  9. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,496

    jazz1
    Member

    My '79 F100 had 3 on tree, truck had absolutely no options at all, radio delete, no doubt a factory order. I think they were available into the '80's
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,733

    squirrel
    Member

    Chevy had one on cars in 1979...pretty sure this was the end of the line, though. The Nova went away the next year, and the 1980 Malibu was available with a 3 speed manual, but it was floor shift.
     

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  11. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 649

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    Told the new kid in the shop to take the 57 to get parts. He came back in and said the battery was dead since he turned the key and nothing happened and also there were no park/reverse/neutral etc marking on the steering column. I asked if he could drive a stick and saw he didn't know what I was talking about. The four pedals, clutch, brake, gas, and starter overwhelmed him so I went myself.

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  13. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,803

    Marty Strode
    Member

    When Ford cars went to column shift in 1940, they followed up in '41 with a limited number of column shifts in the pickups, and didn't offer it again until '51. IMG_3111.JPG I have one in my '40 pickup project, connected to a Saginaw 3 speed, it helps with floor space, and shifts great.
     
  14. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,271

    slowmotion
    Member

    I was around 12yrs old or so, doing farm work, summer job. My buddies were amazed that I could work the 3-on-the-tree like a wizard, in the 63 Chevy farm truck we used. I was a rockstar/designated wheel man, that whole summer!:eek::D
     
  15. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510

    Tri-power37
    Member

    I have never seen one but the older guys would sometimes talk of a shifter on the left hand side of the column - they called it a honeymoon shift. Am I delusional can anyone elaborate?
     
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  16. In the late 50's and through the 60's. IH Loadstar COE's had a Both a 4 and a "5-on-the-tree" Setup. That will effectively deter any would be millennial truck thieves.

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  17. There is just something I like about shifting a 3-on-the-tree. My 15-year-old son seems to have the same thoughts too. We were planning to put a T5 in his 63 Chevy pu so he would have an overdrive to have a more driveable daily driver and even had a World Class T5 located and secured to buy. However, he just decided that he really wants to put a 3-speed in it so he can shift it on the column. He drives my pickup now and may be one of the few 15-year-olds that actually knows how to do it... I guess we will settle for a 3-speed with an OD for now until he blows it up and decides he needs a better transmission. :D

    Oh, and I actually didn't realize they offered them as late as they did so learned something from this thread too.
     
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  18. I am not expert on this by any means, but do have a good friend (bchrismer) that just did this in his 40 coupe and I think he may have even documented some of it here. He ended up using a cable for reverse and the linkage for first through fourth.
     
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  19. In 1967 I bought a new, low buck, Camaro, 327, 2 barrel carburetor, and 3 on the tree. The price was right. I put in a Hurst floor shift conversion about a month after I bought the Camaro.
     
  20. henryj429
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,061

    henryj429
    Member

    In the early/mid 80s, GM of Canada had a big fleet order from Saudi Arabia for stripped down 4 door Malibus with 4.3l V6s and three on the tree. The order was cancelled or cut back and GM sold off the cars to consumers dirt cheap. Good reliable cars with great gas mileage.

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  21. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,546

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Yeah, when I took drivers ed in school it was a Nova column shift, with extra pedals on the passenger side. And as I recall, there were two or three students in the back seat switching off. Talk about liability.

    You were a brave man.
     
  22. 60F250
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 8

    60F250
    Member
    from Jasper,AL

    The "Iraqi taxi" Malibus were equipped with the 3.8 Chevy V-6 and a floor shifted 3 speed. Most of the cars that weren't shipped to Iraq were sold in Canada. There were three of them that I know of that were owned by either fellow students or their parents when I was in high school in Paris, Ontario in 88-92.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...Vaw248oeNlt44trZfZJJq2iq2&cshid=1562128149951

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  23. 66gmc
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 580

    66gmc
    Member

    I just sold a 56 chev with 3 on the tree and its been interesting and scary trying to teach potential buyers who are twice my age how to operate it properly. People seem to think you need to forcefully jam it into every gear as fast as possible...also non synchronized first gear is apperently a foreign concept? One of the first things I do after buying a column shift vehicle is pull the lever out and spray inside the column with penetrating oil until oil runs out everywhere. Then I adjust and lubricate all the linkage.
    After doing that I've never had issues with the linkage jamming, even with the most worn out bushings.
    Seems like everyone has to be in such a damn hurry these days. Old cars are much more enjoyable when they are driven within their limitations.

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  24. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,869

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    All of mine get rebuilt with brand new Oilite bushings, even the levers on the tranny, smooth as silk no jamming or sticking after that.
     
  25. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 781

    Terrible80
    Member

    In the mid 70's , I saw an OT '70 Monte Carlo on a car lot with column shift 3 speed. Shoulda bought it.

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  26. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,862

    LAROKE
    Member

    My '55 Chevy pickup had three-on-the-tree which I removed when I was fitting the truck for a Muncie rockcrusher four-speed. It was tired and the Chevy trucks of this period had twice the rods that most linkages had due to a bellcrank half way between shift box and transmission. All the holes that the rods fit into were pretty egged out and things were very sloppy. I became proficient in "square shifting" which means shifting slow and not cutting diagonally across the gate. I could eventually go weeks without locking the thing up.

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  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,733

    squirrel
    Member

    By 59 those trucks had a single piece of linkage from shift control box, to the transmission. Mine never jammed up, but the darn lever came off in my hand several times (the little buttons holding it on were a bit loose in the holes). That could be exciting after a vigorous shift into Second.
     
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  28. It's nostalgic, driving a car or truck with a column shift is zen like, it takes you back to a simpler time, I don't own a car with 3 on the tree but I have 2 that I converted to floor shift 4 and 5 speeds.

    I wouldn't mind owning another car with the column shift. HRP
     
  29. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 558

    boo
    Member
    from stuart,fl.

    allways been a little backward, taking the floor shift out of my 34 rdst. w/caddy eng and putting a ford 3 spd w/od and a column shift in it.
     
  30. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,328

    oldsman41
    Member

    Got one in my 51 merc with overdrive i like it. Larened how to drive on my dads merc.
     

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